Rep. Bill Chappell, D-Fla., lived on and off with a lobbyist for the General Electric Co. in early 1986, then intervened with the Pentagon to support the firm's air defense system, Defense Week reported Saturday.
The industry publication said Chappell, chairman of the House Appropriations defense subcommittee, sought unsuccessfully to stall the Army's plans to seek bids on a $5 billion air defense system so GE could complete development of its Blazer gun system and join in the competition.Chappell interceded in a Dec. 9, 1986, letter to the Pentagon's acquisition czar - a letter drafted and carried to Chappell's office by GE lobbyist Zack Shelley, a friend of Chappell's, Defense Week said.
It was disclosed two years ago that Chappell stayed at Shelley's home for about 30 nights during the first quarter of 1986 while awaiting completion of his new home.
The report marked the second disclosure in recent weeks that Chappell, facing close scrutiny in the FBI's Pentagon corruption probe, lent support to a defense contractor after living with one of its representatives.
The Washington Post reported earlier that while living for five months in 1984 in the suburban McLean, Va., home of a former member of his staff - Avco Corp. representative Leonard Killgore - Chappell challenged moves to cut into the firm's business building engines for the M1 battle tank.
Asked about the report of Chappell's role on behalf of GE, his spokeswoman Kay Thomas said, "We don't have any comment."